ENS Gameday Preview: Blackhawks @ Oilers
The Oilers return to the concrete jungle tonight to take on the Chicago Blackhawks. These two teams last met 10 days ago in the Windy City in a game that the Oilers
shockingly lost. Artemi Panarin scored twice in the first period and Edmonton was chasing the game for the rest of the night, which they seem to do almost every game now. And that has been a very concerning trend to say the least.
The first game back after a long trip can often be a complete disaster. Especially for a team like the Oilers so they will need to be ready from the opening minute. After posting 3 losses on their 4 game trip, Edmonton is in desperate need for 2 points tonight or they will continue to sit in the basement of the standings… yet again.
Hall – Draisaitl – Purcell
Pouliot – RNH – Yakupov
Hendricks – Letestu – Yakupov
Korpikoski – Lander – Pakarinen
Klefbom – Fayne
Nurse – Sekera
Davidson – Gryba
Edmonton is starting to get some healthy bodies back as Lori Korpikoski draws in for his first game since October. Brandon Davidson is back in on defense by the looks of it, and Anders Nilsson gets another nod in net as Toddy Mac is looking for someone to grab the reigns as the starter.
What Needs to Happen
As I mentioned, the first game back after a road trip can be tough on the home team. Edmonton will need to be sure they are ready for a full 60 minutes tonight otherwise they’ll be down by 3 before we know it. Wouldn’t be the first time.
Chicago is the kind of team that can expose the Oilers defense. They have more than enough skill and can make teams look stupid seemingly without trying. The Oil will need to limit turnovers in their own zone and push the pace as much as possible in order to win this one.
What Can’t Happen
What is Going to Happen
The Oilers surprise us and send the fans home happy with a 5-3 victory. Corey Crawford made 36 saves against the Oil last Sunday but they manage to bust him open tonight. Hallsy with 4 and assist.